A successful vegan Christmas dinner can be difficult to achieve when non-vegans struggle with the concept. How on earth can it work without turkey etc. An easy answer is to ensure the roast veg is vegan friendly and to bring some kind of turkey and pudding replacement. This is simple and means so long as you conjour up some gravy and custard you will end up with a very successful vegan Christmas dinner. Hurray.
A Vegan Christmas dinner at a restaurant
Many families these days go out for Christmas dinner, vegan food for chefs at these places can be a bit of a mystery but the other option is to get the omnivores to come with you to try a guaranteed vegan Christmas dinner at a vegan restaurant. This is something I’ve done several times at the wonderful Warehouse Cafe, always leaving full and happy after a great meal.
I was quite excited to try the vegan Christmas dinner at Veged Out, which is a community cafe tucked away in Fletchers Walk by the Conservatoire, just behind the Town Hall in the City Centre. I was hoping to meet a few Moseley Vegans and enjoy a great vegan Christmas dinner, after the confusion of booking my place at the Birmingham Vegetarian and Vegans Christmas meal.
The Veged Out Christmas menu looked very good and with four courses for £15 good value too. I arrived and met a friend and was joined on our table by small family. The parents were new to vegetarian food while the teenage son was vegetarian. They were nice people and I was interested to see the father sold barefoot shoes. I’m very interested in barefoot running and did so at the recent Birmingham Half Marathon.
I had Christmas bhaji with cranberry chutney, which was quite spicy. I suppose the idea was to balance this with the cranberry chutney which was a good idea. The mother across the table was finding the chilli a bit too much. And to be fair it was a little too hot. I did try my friend’s starter, which was mushroom and port pate on bread. This was good, an interesting flavour pate and not something I’d normally eat.
The mum chose the curry and didn’t look overly impressed. Myself and my friend had tofu turkey with veg and Yorkshire pudding. A great vegan Christmas dinner choice. I was convinced the Yorkshire pudding was a dumpling but mine were lovely, the gravy and the roast veg were really nice BUT the tofu was far too salty. Almost too salty to eat, not very nice at all I’m afraid.
Unforgivably, there was frozen veg on the side, peas and carrots… This is not good and does smack of amateurism, I’m afraid I do expect more when eating out at a Vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurant.
Desert & Afters
My friend chose the quaintly named Santa sacks. I tasted these and they were lovely, I do like mincemeat and these were a nice twist on the standard mince pie, I really enjoyed my mouthful of this. I had cheesecake for my pud because this is something I don’t normally have as a vegan. I didn’t like it much, it was made from tofu and was a bit plain and the base was soggy. My friend liked this more than me.
Ok, bah humbug, I’m perhaps being over fussy but compared to the fantastic vegan cheese cake you can get from Trishul Rax Chocolate this is lame. Perhaps it’s the use of tofu rather than avocado. Trishul uses very high quality ingredients which means she gets very high quality results – organic cacao etc.
There were truffles for afters, chocolate truffles. These were fab, excellent, these would rival Buja Buja truffles, there is no higher compliment!
Overall the vegan Christmas dinner at Veged Out was…
Disappointing, in a word. I was hoping for a fantastic vegan Christmas dinner at a veggie restaurant and got mediocre, although certain menu items were lush. I have been spoiled at the Warehouse Cafe and by Trishul BUT over-salty tofu and frozen veg are unforgivable. It was a bit of a shame for the family I mention in this post. The parents were clearly new to vegetarian food and I don’t think they’ll be back any time soon.
I’ll be back to try some of the other snacks at Veged Out but my vegan Christmas dinner wasn’t top notch this time, I’m afraid 6/10. It was nice to meet Barbara and her husband who were lovely and there do seem to be some interesting talks coming up at BVV, although I simply cannot make Tuesday evenings.